Examining Infectiousness Of TB Patients Living With HIV

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

"The Infectiousness of Tuberculosis Patients Coinfected With HIV," PLoS Medicine: Roderick Escombe of Imperial College London and colleagues conducted the study to examine infectiousness and airborne transmission of TB by exposing guinea pigs to air from the HIV/TB ward of a hospital in Peru. Over the 505-day study period, there were 118 ward admissions of 97 HIV-positive people with pulmonary TB. The researchers conducted monthly tuberculin skin tests, organ cultures and autopsies to detect TB among the guinea pigs.


They also used DNA fingerprinting of human and animal TB strains to determine the sources of transmission. According to the study, 8.5% of the 118 ward admissions caused 98% of the 125 secondary animal TB cases. In addition, 90% of TB transmissions occurred from inadequately treated multi-drug resistant TB. The study's findings emphasize the importance of prompt TB drug susceptibility testing to ensure effective treatment and reduce the incidence of MDR-TB, the authors write (Escombe et al., PLoS Medicine, 9/16).

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